By Sam Eyoboka
PRELATE of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Sunday Ola Makinde has described the show of shame by some Ogun State legislators as a demonstration of selfishness and unfaithfulness to God, stressing that the state law makers have not only disgraced themselves but the families they represent.
Asked to comment on the significance of oath taking in politics, the angered Prelate said if the legislators were members of the Methodist Church they would have been excommunicated from the church.
â€œItâ€™s a show of unfaithfulness to the God they serve and a disgrace to Christianity. Going by the Holy Bible which says, â€˜thou shall not take any oath of anything more than the one you have taken on your baptism or confirmation,â€™ it is a show of unrighteousness.
It is my prayer that God will forgive them all for they do not know what they have done to Christianity or whatever religion they represent.
Even unbelievers should not even do that because they have denied their religion at the expense of their political career. They love mammon more than God. Thatâ€™s what is happening. God will forgive them, because itâ€™s a disgrace.
I wish they had come from my denomination, they would have been ex-communicated, because we do not tolerate that kind of nonsense. The oath of allegiance is not to God, is to themselves. Itâ€™s very sad and disgraceful.
What therefore should we do? INEC has also asked members of staff to take an oath of secrecy before they can collect their…
(Shocked!) I think Christians should not take such oaths. If they take it, their allegiance is to the state and not to God. INEC that cannot conduct credible election is asking staff to take oath. Which INEC? Itâ€™s adding to its incredibility. If INEC is doing that, INEC is offending God.
INEC that is not even credible, they can pay allegiance to the state rather than to God. You should add religion to politics. I remember Alhaji Bashir Tofa, who said he would at all times defend his religion, Islam.
He made it clear that his religion was Islam and he will not do anything that will contradict Islamic injunctions. And when the law of the state and divine law are at variance, â€˜I will vote for divine law.â€™ How many Christians…those who are taking oaths of allegiance or secrecy. Unless they will not pay their salary, then let them wait for divine condemnation and punishment. God is watching them.
What is the way out? Should the oath-taking members of the Ogun State House of Assembly resign?
Let them remain if they want. They have violated divine law and they will receive divine punishment. Our own is not to condemn, God has the ultimate punishment. Itâ€™s only God that can condemn. Itâ€™s between them and God, let them continue but one day, monkey will go to the bush and will not return. Let them continue to serve God and mammon.
You canâ€™t serve God and mammon. Where there is a conflict between secular law and divine law, you uphold divine law and thatâ€™s what Alhaji Tofa said, and I love him for defending his case.
Nigeria needs national deliverance, says Pastor Oritsejafor
NATIONAL President ofÂ Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor also expressed disappointment at eminent law makers who are dancing in the nude, saying that their action has actually depicted Nigeria as a crude nation which is why the first American president of African decent would pay his maiden visit to the continent and will avoid the giant of Africa.
â€œThe show of shame is one of the reasons why the nation is not growing as it should,â€ he says, â€œbecause these politicians do not feel that they owe the people any obligation. Instead, their primary concern is how to satisfy their personal interests.â€
He says in a telephone interview: Iâ€™m highly disappointed. To me, this is one of the reasons why we have poor government, what is demanding loyalty by spirituality?
Their loyalty is not to the people, but to the shrine and whosoever controls the shrine. You discover that they donâ€™t feel they owe the nation any obligation.
Their responsibility and obligation is to the people that gave them the oath. And due to that oath, they cannot be truthful, they will have to take money to the people who initiated them. There is a level of secrecy even when things are wrong, they have to cover it up because they are on oath.
The implications are endless. What we are seeing is one of the major factors that have brought Nigeria to where it is today.
That is the major cause of corruption in Nigeria. Like, I said earlier, he is committed to the shrine, heâ€™s committed to the person who has taken him to oath, so that person can do anything to the nation. That is why
we will continue to have election rigging. God will gradually expose the people who are behind it.
Last year, the president came out to make all his personal staff to take an oath of secrecy. What do you say to that, sir?
It is good to be loyal, but not to the extent of taking an oath of secrecy.
The INEC has refused to pay workersâ€™ salaries until they take a similar oath of secrecy because of such revelations pertaining to the last Ekiti re-run elections. What do you have to say?
I donâ€™t even know this. Nigeria should not be a country of oath takers. This will lead us to very serious problems.
While these people were assuming office, they took an oath. What does this foretell for Nigeria. Is it that they are no longer afraid of God?
Itâ€™s not only just being afraid of swearing. Many of them are more afraid of the exchange of blood with kola nut. Some of the oaths are taken under very pressing situations. If man had known that Jesus would have been born, it would have been Rome.
There are many people who are more afraid of shrine. Many people when they take an oath, they are afraid. Probably if there was no oath, they wonâ€™t be loyal to the country.
My prayer for this nation is that God will begin to touch the hearts of men to begin to run away from all these things.
Are they really committed to the shrine? God in His infinite mercy will expose them, and as they are exposed, God will destroy what they had with anyone, to set this nation free from captivity because there are people who are holding down.
Look at President Barrack Obama going to Ghana and not even coming to Nigeria. Why because something is fundamentally wrong.
My sincere prayer for this country is that there should be a national deliverance.
What will you say to these people who were shown in the newspapers naked? Shouldnâ€™t they resign?
Nigeria is a nation where people donâ€™t resign when they are accused of any crime. Only a few weeks ago many British officials resigned on account of sums as low as one hundred pounds. We are in a nation where anything happens. They should resign and go home. I pray for this nation. We need a national deliverance.
Itâ€™s a pity â€” Monsignor Gabriel Osu
DIRECTOR Of Social Communications at the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Rev. Monsignor Gabriel Osu is one of the nationâ€™s clergy men who feels disappointed by the ugly spectacle that was displayed on the pages of the nationâ€™s newspapers last week showing members of the Ogun State House of Assembly taking oaths of secrecy in the nude at a shrine.
Speaking in an interview, he said: â€œIt is just a pity, we will only create and give the impression that we cannot manage ourselves, and each day, these things show. All those oath taking, whether Christian with the Bible or Muslims with the Holy Quoran, which is all in an attempt to promise to do your work diligently and give service to the people.
Nobody goes against that, but the way things are done these days, after the Okija shrine saga, one begins to wonder what itâ€™s all about. Why are they dancing naked? Why are they fooling themselves? Why are they degenerating so low, even to taking oath in secrecy, in nudity?
For whose interest? Is it for the people you want to come and serve or for your own personal interest? Itâ€™s frustrating seeing people we call honourable or men of honour, dancing naked. Until they are disciplined, I donâ€™t think we can make any progress in this country. With the kind of revelation and insight going on there, they say when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. We Nigerians now suffer.
They are just trading blames here and there, thatâ€™s what we will be seeing. And it appears nobody can call them to order. They say when the head is sick, the whole body is sick. Thatâ€™s the situation we are. Iâ€™m not saying the governor group or the other group is portioning blames, my interest is Nigeria at large, Ogun in particular, what do we stand to benefit from this kind of people?
Does it pay us anything good? From my own point of view, after deep thinking, I just believe God is answering our prayers already. At least in Catholic Church, we pray against bribery and corruption, we also pray against bad leadership. So, I believe God is now answering these prayers. We are now seeing what kind of people they look like.
The irony of it all again is these same people will be the ones fashioning laws against secret societies, against mismanagement of human beings that is event the plan for which they are coming in all the name of oath taking. Oath taking for what? Anything that have made them do it is never in my interest.
Itâ€™s condemnable by any right thinking person. And I believe the voters too are watching, because it all depends on the voters now the kind of people they vote in, because if tomorrow you see these same people or worst people, then we are going to where we left. In this computer age, people going to the Moon attempting to see what is behind the Sun, in this jet age, we are still subjecting ourselves to the allegations of taking oath in nakedness.
You begin to wonder how on earth will civilisation reach us. So we hope and pray that the way they are doing it, but there is no smoke without fire. Thatâ€™s why I donâ€™t want to say it is governor or the man that is right! No, thatâ€™s rubbish they are doing.
When these men were taking oaths of office, they either swore by the Bible or Quran.
Today, they are taking another oath in a shrine. What does that portray?
It portrays nothing. I donâ€™t want to use a very wrong language. They are unbelievers, because if you believe in God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit or you believe in Prophet Mohammed as a Muslim, how will you find yourself in all these things?
They are just unbelievers, or maybe believers in the day time, in the night and in secret, they are something else. This is not even traditional religion. Itâ€™s something very negative because of their own selfishness, because this is not; â€œI donâ€™t want to die,â€ because if you have trust and confidence in God, definitely you will not find yourself doing this. And again, you took this oath of office alleging to defend the constitution of prejudice of the state, to defend peopleâ€™s welfare, growth and co. Iâ€™m not in anyway trying to tell them that they are going to hell, thatâ€™s not my contention at all.
What is the place of oath taking in politics, particularly this kind?
It has no room there at all. We are not running a traditional government. Even the traditional religion is struggling to put everything in limelight so that people will know when we say cultural adaptation, religious adaptation, thatâ€™s happening today to make sure that our religion is not portrayed as something negative, hence, you hear adaptation, acculturation, adjustment to meet the needs of the modern man so that it becomes attractive even to foreigners to know we are not Buddhism when this kind is done.
I donâ€™t even think that the traditional religion will accept it. If you claim you are a traditionalist, they donâ€™t go into shrine to go and swear because you want to be in power it has not played in government.
Doesnâ€™t this show that these people are not afraid of God and they are rather afraid of one kind of shrine or something?
Selfishness, thatâ€™s just it. If they were really afraid of the shrine, they wonâ€™t even be doing what they are doing because so many people are into politics not for genuine reason.
Itâ€™s supposed to be human management, welfare of the people. Itâ€™s not happening in politics today, itâ€™s just men and women gathering together fighting. I think God is hearing our prayer, and the way God is hearing our prayers, these people will be more exposed.
We just hope the voters will know who to vote for, and that people who present themselves for politics tomorrow, they should question them a lot, their motives. When they say American president is the present of the whole world, he has gone through the crucible.
Why canâ€™t we copy that? I heard 7-point agenda, nobody knows what the agenda is all about. We just hear so much grammar. This oath taking thing, I hope Nigerians will look seriously into it, and the media should be more investigative.
I want to draw your back to last year, the president started it all when he drew all his personal staffs in public and asked them to take oaths of secrecy. Secondly, we are just hearing now that staffs of INEC cannot get their salary until they take their oath of secrecy, allegiance to the chairman of INEC…
In the country of the blind, one eyed man is the oga. Itâ€™s not in the civil service rule, code of conduct is not there. The oath taking to you is just means of let me go there, see whatever I want to see, whatever it is, you do it all for your ticket. Thatâ€™s the problem we are having. Iâ€™m not surprised. I will continue to give kudos to Lagos State government, I donâ€™t know if they do it or not.
But when you see energetic young men and women working with passion, they have no time for divisions like all these kind of things. You can see the evidence of people who have gone to school, of people who are struggling to lift the state upwards.
If Fashola says tomorrow, I want to re-contest, even when he doesnâ€™t, people will push him forward Most of these commissioners, people will push them forward. They should have gone to African shrine (laughs). You begin to wonder what this is all about. The people they are representing donâ€™t even know left to right.
Theirs no shortcut to education, physic education, basic education outside the classroom, people must know their left from their right. You should see somebody from across the boarder during election.